CGX’s emerge Event : Creating Content, MemoriesJuly 2012 By Erik Cagle, Senior Editor
When Consolidated Graphics (CGX) Chairman and CEO Joe Davis asked his right-hand man—Aaron Grohs, the firm's executive vice president of sales and marketing—to put the company on parade at this year's emerge conference and expo, Davis was figuratively speaking. But, Grohs delivered in over-the-top fashion.
The 1,000 or so customers, friends and members of the CGX family weren't treated to a parade; they were, indeed, part of the parade, the largest non-Mardi Gras private bash in New Orleans history. It included 18 floats, three high school marching bands and CGX customers who were riding in the parade, throwing beads to bystanders taking in the festivities.
Talk about a never-ending event…the parade route ended in the French Quarter and, from there, customers then walked a couple of blocks to the House of Blues for a three-hour party.
While Davis, Grohs, et. al, have happened upon a blueprint that appeals to its member base, it doesn't take a trip to the Big Easy to bring out guests. The guest list was once again limited to 1,000 for the event, held April 17-20 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans. In the long run, emerge will continue to grow and evolve as CGX looks to expand upon the brand (it already has a dedicated quarterly magazine).
"As I said in the opening remarks, CGX is in a leadership position and I believe—as does Joe—it is our responsibility as a leader to help the industry move forward," Grohs remarks. "The entire focus of emerge is to bring content, ideas, people, experts and solutions to the table that can help people, even if they don't do all of their business with Consolidated Graphics. It's fast becoming a place where people can learn, grow and develop. Hopefully, it also helps the entire industry."
CGX rolled out a blue-ribbon panel of keynote speakers for the event, led by legendary Miami Dolphins quarterback and NFL Hall of Famer Bob Griese. A member company, Wimmer Cookbooks in Memphis, TN, is producing a book by Griese and his wife, "Griese Spoon," which features a number of recipes from other sports stars, entertainers and performers. Griese related stories about his playing days with the Dolphins, which included Super Bowl titles in 1973 and 1974. Creating a winning attitude was a general theme, according to Grohs.